The Los Angeles Dodgers won 106 games last year and dominated offensively, leading the National League in runs scored and home runs, smacking 30 more than the Atlanta Braves, who were second in that category. Despite the impressive attack, the Dodgers fell to the Nationals in the NLDS. Not standing still this off season, the Dodgers may have added the necessary piece to deliver a World Series title team this season.
The move involves outfielder Mookie Betts, pitcher David Price and Brusdar Graterol to the Dodgers, the Red Sox will get Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong. Pitcher Kenta Maeda and a minor league were also dealt from the Dodgers to the Twins.
Initially the deal was for the Red Sox to obtain Graterol and Verdugo, however concerns about Graterol’s shoulder delayed the move and altered the trade. The Twins trade of Graterol for Maeda is actually a separate trade, but worth mentioning in the overall scheme of how this affects the Dodgers and the league this season.
Betts adds another potential 30-home run bat to the lineup. Betts, along with Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy have the potential to blast more than 100 home runs.
The addition of Price adds a solid veteran to the back end of the pitching rotation. The 34-year old Price went 7-5 with a 4.24 ERA in 22 starts last season, but is just a season removed from 17 wins, 3.58 ERA and has a career record of 150-80 with a 3.31 ERA.
Clearly the expectations have been very high in Los Angeles, and despite reaching the World Series in two of the past three seasons, have come up empty. Perhaps the trade for former AL MVP and four-time All-Star Betts is what the teams needed. The long journey towards the ultimate prize begins soon and the Dodgers have made a significant step in the right direction.